thefuture
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A topic concerned with events and trends of the future or which anticipate the future.
Curated by John Boitnott
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Eerie Photos Show The Strange Emptiness Of Dubai

Eerie Photos Show The Strange Emptiness Of Dubai | thefuture | Scoop.it

Recently released timelapses of images from NASA’s Landsat satellite highlight the dramatically rapid urbanization of the desert in places like Dubai over the past couple decades. Cities sprout so quickly from nowhere, you can see the landscape morphing from space.

 

But another photography project is a reminder that these cities are just as shocking to behold up close. PhotographerMatthias Heiderich’s series "UAE" reveals a post-modern kingdom in the desert, hauntingly empty and utterly lifeless. Glistening buildings appear unused. Construction projects seem endless. Parking lots are barren.

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Tony Aguilar's curator insight, October 3, 2013 10:40 AM

There appears to be a race for growth financed by rich oil Saudi Magnates. It is an ideaological race of being the most modern and luxierious and extravagant of all cities in the world, but unlike some cities  like New York the growth is not due to rapid influx of people and demand to supply jobs and home for people in urban environments. The rate of urbanization is disproportionate with the amount of people that actually live in that originally oceanic desert like environment. They are attracting tourists from all over the World but in the sense of having a city to meet the needs of people and rapid growth, the size of the city is unecessary and up close looks like a ghost town at times. Even though people do visit from all over the World the city is just sending a message to the  World about their money size and extravagance. I think the saddest part is that these people make lots of money but like a beautiful brand new college campus with hardly any student, there is truly a lack of life a true sense of community and the ability to share that sense of wealth with overall population at large.

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Technology Is Starting To Give People Superpowers, Like Telekinesis

Technology Is Starting To Give People Superpowers, Like Telekinesis | thefuture | Scoop.it

In the summer of 1935, a pair of Bavarian climbers arrived in the Bernese Alps, hoping to become the first people ever to scale the monstrous north face of the mountain known as the Eiger. On their first day, they made good progress. On the second day, less so, and on the third, even less. Then a storm swept over the mountain and they froze to death. The next year, four more mountaineers attempted the face, and all four died. After a third failed attempt in 1937, a quartet of climbers finally reached the summit in 1938, taking three days to get there.

 

Twelve years and many more fatalities later, a pair of climbers managed to surmount the Eiger in 18 hours. The 1960s saw the first successful solo climb. In 1988, Alison Hargreaves climbed the Eiger while six months pregnant. By the 1990s, people were making the climb in the dead of winter. In 2008, Swiss climber Euli Steck speed-climbed the peak, solo, in winter, in 2 hours, 47 minutes, and 33 seconds. You can watch the video. Last month, a trio of Brits stood on a ledge near the top of the Eiger, then spread their arms and legs like wings and flew down.

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Elon Musk: We Need To Leave Earth Or Risk Extinction

Elon Musk: We Need To Leave Earth Or Risk Extinction | thefuture | Scoop.it

"Either we spread earth to other planets, or we risk going extinct. An extinction event is inevitable and we’re increasingly doing ourselves in."


Via Guillaume Decugis
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Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, May 30, 2013 8:23 PM

We can't blame Musk for not being visionary. I wonder whether dramatizing the topic like he did will have an impact. 

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These 12 technologies will drive our economic future

These 12 technologies will drive our economic future | thefuture | Scoop.it
A McKinsey Global Institute study shows how innovations that get the most hype aren’t necessarily the ones that will make the biggest difference economically.
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What to watch as the bitcoin drama develops

What to watch as the bitcoin drama develops | thefuture | Scoop.it

We all knew this was coming.

 

Bitcoin is disruptive in the most raw sense of the word. Not the “hey, it’s another photo sharing app!” form of disruptive, or even the libertarians wanting new ways to get from point a to point b without saying the word “taxi” kind of disruptive. The biggest bitcoin bulls say it has the potential to be the third major way to buy and sell goods that the world has ever known, after bartered goods and government-backed money.

 

If the promises of bitcoin could ever be unlocked – perhaps one of the biggest ifs in the tech world today – it’s about as big of a venture-style opportunity as you could imagine. Right now the value of the system is a headline-grabbing $1 billion. But if its potential to be a global, borderless way of buying and selling goods via the Internet were ever achieved, it’s value would one day be in the trillions. It’s a massive potential for value creation that suddenly has people in a lather. Investors like Fred Wilson’s Union Square Ventures have already placed some significant bets – with many more investors quietly mining for opportunities. But despite the massive potential upside, bitcoin is fraught with so much complexity and risk that the potential seems almost impossible to unlock.

 
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Google Glass 2.0: What If We Had Glass?

Now that we all have seen Google Glass we tried to think beyond version one. We wanted to visualize how heads up displays can affect our interactions with in...
John Boitnott's insight:

It's really hard to deny how cool Google Glass might be after seeing this video.

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Soon, You'll Know As Much About What You Buy As the Company That Made It | Mind Matters | Big Think

Soon, You'll Know As Much About What You Buy As the Company That Made It | Mind Matters | Big Think | thefuture | Scoop.it

The term "Big Data" naturally conjures up images of Big Users, like the government or Google or Costco. It's easy to see why big enterprises crunch data to learn, for example, which groceries people want on the first day of a heat wave and which they want later on, or how warmed-up Scots buy different foods than people on a hot day in England, or how your recent Facebook activity hints that you're in the market for a new printer. But Big Data is now so abundant and accessible that it can also be used by us smallfolk. Case in point: Buycott, a new app for smartphones that scans a product code and tells you in an instant who will profit if you buy the thing. Don't want to help the Koch brothers make more money? Want to reward companies that took your preferred position on Internet freedom or marriage equality? Just scan and tap.

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Imagine No Possessions: In the Future, We'll Share Everything | Amped | Big Think

Imagine No Possessions: In the Future, We'll Share Everything | Amped | Big Think | thefuture | Scoop.it

In the second installment of our “8 Trends That Will Shape Humanity” series, we look at the rise of the "city state" and how the coming consolidation of humanity into cities will change life for residents of these massive urban hubs.

 

What is the sharing economy? It’s a growing movement that enables the sharing of personal resources amongst members. Recently estimated to be worth $3.5 billion by Forbes magazine, the sharing economy was heralded by innovators like Zipcar (a car sharing service) and Airbnb (a house and apartment sharing service). While there are numerous free sharing services, generally the sharing transaction is monetized and handled by a third party company. These sharing services have allowed members to make money by renting out things and space that would have otherwise sat unused. And people are truly sharing almost everything.

 

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SOINN artificial brain can now use the internet to learn new things #DigInfo

A group at Tokyo Institute of Technology, led by Dr. Osamu Hasegawa, has succeeded in making further advances with SOINN, their machine learning algorithm, which can now use the internet to learn how to perform new tasks. The system, which is under development as an artificial brain for autonomous mental development robots, is currently being used to learn about objects in photos using image searches on the internet. It can also take aspects of other known objects and combine them to make guesses about objects it doesn't yet recognize.


Via Sakis Koukouvis
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For Robots Like Baxter, The Interface Becomes A Personality - Fast Company

For Robots Like Baxter, The Interface Becomes A Personality - Fast Company | thefuture | Scoop.it
For Robots Like Baxter, The Interface Becomes A Personality Fast Company Not only was Baxter designed to work safely alongside people on the floor of the factory, but it has human-like qualities intended to comfort the people working with and...
John Boitnott's insight:

The future of Robots is here and it has a personality and can learn on it's own.

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Haunting Images Show What Major US Cities Would Look Like if Sea Levels Rose 25 Feet

Haunting Images Show What Major US Cities Would Look Like if Sea Levels Rose 25 Feet | thefuture | Scoop.it
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This Underwater Bubble Will Grow Climate-Saving Algae

This Underwater Bubble Will Grow Climate-Saving Algae | thefuture | Scoop.it
How will architecture respond to a world of rising ocean tides, shrinking coast lines, changing climates, and extreme weather events?
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Most Earthlike Planets Found Yet: A "Breakthrough"

Most Earthlike Planets Found Yet: A "Breakthrough" | thefuture | Scoop.it
Two Earth-size exoplanets are at the right distance from their sun to support life-a "breakthrough," NASA scientists say.
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Advances in light-emitting diode technology to transform the home (Video)

Advances in OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology will transform the home with glowing walls and windows replacing single-point light sources, according…

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The Banality of "Don’t Be Evil" by Julian Assange

The Banality of "Don’t Be Evil" by Julian Assange | thefuture | Scoop.it
Two Google leaders have written a manifesto for technocratic imperialism.
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Will Life Without Sleep Be Possible Soon?

Will Life Without Sleep Be Possible Soon? | thefuture | Scoop.it

Work, friendships, exercise, parenting, eating, reading — there just aren’t enough hours in the day. To live fully, many of us carve those extra hours out of our sleep time. Then we pay for it the next day. A thirst for life leads many to pine for a drastic reduction, if not elimination, of the human need for sleep. Little wonder: if there were a widespread disease that similarly deprived people of a third of their conscious lives, the search for a cure would be lavishly funded. It’s the Holy Grail of sleep researchers, and they might be closing in.

 

As with most human behaviours, it’s hard to tease out our biological need for sleep from the cultural practices that interpret it. The practice of sleeping for eight hours on a soft, raised platform, alone or in pairs, is actually atypical for humans. Many traditional societies sleep more sporadically, and social activity carries on throughout the night. Group members get up when something interesting is going on, and sometimes they fall asleep in the middle of a conversation as a polite way of exiting an argument. Sleeping is universal, but there is glorious diversity in the ways we accomplish it.

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Can Glowing Trees One Day Replace Electric Streetlights?

Can Glowing Trees One Day Replace Electric Streetlights? | thefuture | Scoop.it

Engineering nature to sustain our needs is exactly what the Glowing Plant Project aims to do in efforts to engineer “a glow-in-the-dark plant using synthetic biology techniques that could possibly replace traditional lighting”.

Bioluminescence – the production and emission of light by a living organism – is the overarching concept of the Glowing Plant Project, and the approach can be divided into three basic steps: design, print and transform.

Visit the article link to learn more about this new technology...


Via Lauren Moss
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Norm Miller's curator insight, May 20, 2013 4:01 PM

Very cool idea.  Maybe genetically modified food is not as cool, but this seems harmless enough, of course until it eats your cat. :-)

 

bancoideas's curator insight, May 23, 2013 10:58 AM

Árboles bioluminiscentes en reemplazo del alumbrado público, una idea sobrecogedora ¿no?

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Google and NASA collaborate on AI research with new quantum supercomputer

Google and NASA collaborate on AI research with new quantum supercomputer | thefuture | Scoop.it

Google and NASA have teamed up to launch a new laboratory focused on advancing machine learning. The Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab — hosted at NASA's Ames Research Center in California — will contain a quantum supercomputer that will be used by researchers from the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and all over the world to pioneer breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.

 

Google believes quantum computing may prove invaluable in developing its web searching and speech recognition technology, while also assisting researchers in the creation of better models of disease and climate patterns. It has already developed quantum machine-learning algorithms that are capable of quickly recognizing data to save power on mobile devices and efficiently sort out erroneous information from "highly polluted training data." Supplied by D-Wave Systems, the quantum computer operates differently from traditional supercomputers by combining atoms to work together as quantum bits. By isolating and forcing these bits to interact, Google and NASA will be able to carry out two or more calculations simultaneously, helping them find "the optimal solution."

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Scientists Report First Success in Cloning Human Stem Cells

Scientists Report First Success in Cloning Human Stem Cells | thefuture | Scoop.it

It’s been 17 years since Dolly the sheep was cloned from a mammary cell. And now scientists applied the same technique to make the first embryonic stem cell lines from human skin cells.

 

Ever since Ian Wilmut, an unassuming embryologist working at the Roslin Institute just outside of Edinburgh stunned the world by cloning the first mammal, Dolly, scientists have been asking – could humans be cloned in the same way? Putting aside the ethical challenges the question raised, the query turned out to involve more wishful thinking than scientific success. Despite the fact that dozens of other species have been cloned using the technique, called nuclear transfer, human cells have remained stubbornly resistant to the process.

 

Until now. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a professor at Oregon Health & Science University and his colleagues report in the journal Cell that they have successfully reprogrammed human skin cells back to their embryonic state. The purpose of the study, however, was not to generate human clones but to produce lines of embryonic stem cells. These can develop into muscle, nerve, or other cells that make up the body’s tissues. The process, he says, took only a few months, a surprisingly short period to reach such an important milestone.



Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2013/05/15/first-success-in-using-human-egg-to-reprogram-cells-back-to-embryonic-state/#ixzz2TQniLbYy

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New Closed-Captioning Glasses Help Deaf Go Out To The Movies

New Closed-Captioning Glasses Help Deaf Go Out To The Movies | thefuture | Scoop.it

 

There will be a special attraction for deaf people in theaters nationwide soon. By the end of this month, Regal Cinemas plans to have distributed closed-captioning glasses to more than 6,000 theaters across the country.

 

Sony Entertainment Access Glasses are sort of like 3-D glasses, but for captioning. The captions are projected onto the glasses and appear to float about 10 feet in front of the user. They also come with audio tracks that describe the action on the screen for blind people, or they can boost the audio levels of the movie for those who are hard of hearing.

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Fluorescent Dye Boosts Solar Cell Efficiency by a Whopping 38 Percent

Fluorescent Dye Boosts Solar Cell Efficiency by a Whopping 38 Percent | thefuture | Scoop.it

Yale researchers recently discovered a way to boost the efficiency of solar cells by a whopping 38 percent by coating them with a fluorescent dye. Polymer solar cells are popular for their low cost, low weight, large area and mechanical flexibility, according to Physorg, but they only convert roughly 50 percent of the solar energy absorbed into usable electricity. The organic squaraine dye improves light absorption and recycles electrons, thereby hastening the light to energy conversion process.

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This Brain Experiment Could Give You an Extra 20 Years

A study published in this month's Nature suggests that scientists have found a region of the brain that controls aging. Turn it off, they theorize, and you could add 20 years to your life — presuming it works in humans, that is.

 

The research, conducted by the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York, injected mice with a substance that inhibits a particular molecule in their brains. The hormone is related to inflammation and stress, and was found to increase in the hypothalamus as the mice got older.

The fact that inflammation and stress makes us look and feel older — indeed, that it helps kill us — isn't news. What is disturbing to learn is that the brain is deliberately initiating this reaction. Now, at least, we may have found how to turn it off.

 

Not only did the mice who got the inhibitor live 20% longer — which would translate into a couple of decades in human terms — but their quality of life stayed the same. Muscle strength, bone density and skin remained the same. The experiment even worked if the mice were middle-aged when the injections began.

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Scientists Discover a Brain Region That Controls Aging

Scientists Discover a Brain Region That Controls Aging | thefuture | Scoop.it
Medical researchers have found a way to control aging in mice and extend their lifespans by 20 percent
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Virtual Reality Stunts Rat's Sense of Space - Wired

Virtual Reality Stunts Rat's Sense of Space - Wired | thefuture | Scoop.it
Wired
Virtual Reality Stunts Rat's Sense of Space
Wired
But in virtual reality, something odd happened.
John Boitnott's insight:

I would love to know if I'm actually in "the Matrix" or not.

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Researchers Design Nanometer-Scale Material That Can Speed Up, Squeeze ... - Science Daily (press release)

Researchers Design Nanometer-Scale Material That Can Speed Up, Squeeze ... - Science Daily (press release) | thefuture | Scoop.it
Researchers Design Nanometer-Scale Material That Can Speed Up, Squeeze ...
Science Daily (press release)
Apr.
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